1.1. bUN’s climate text talks of Copenhagen Accord
20 May 2010, The Economic Times
Ahead of the June climate-change negotiations in Bonn, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has released the text by the chair of the Bali track (ad hoc group on long-term co-operative action) of the negotiations.
The text represents a victory for the developing countries as it incorporates the Copenhagen Accord into it. This text, in some measure, allays the apprehension that the Copenhagen Accord could emerge as a third track or the sole negotiating track.
India has been vocal in demanding that the Copenhagen Accord be merged within the existing two-track negotiations. While the United States has been pushing to make the Copenhagen Accord the basis of negotiations.
The chair’s text gives countries an option to go ahead with the provisions of the Accord or opt for something else. The provisions of the Accord have been incorporated often with two options — one that is almost identical to the accord and second where intent of Accord is merged with the text.
This is part of the effort to take the Copenhagen Accord, which was formulated by a few countries, and to incorporate it into the multilateral process of negotiations. The chair’s text, however, does not move forward from the text that was put forward by the Bali track at Copenhagen.
Since countries can make suggestions for inclusion in this text, it runs the danger of getting unwieldy. It could also upset the precarious balance that had been achieved in the Copenhagen Accord as suggestions to increase mitigation ambition, or making the outcome legally binding or bringing down the temperature threshold to 1.5 degrees could be made.
1.2. EU ministers agree broad outline for climate aid
19 May 2010, EurActiv
EU finance ministers yesterday (18 May) endorsed a report laying down Europe’s priorities on climate aid for developing countries but left open details of how they will share the costs.
Ahead of the Copenhagen climate conference in December, the EU promised to offer poor countries €2.4 billion a year in "fast-start finance" between 2010 and 2012 (EurActiv 11/12/09).
But while the report confirms the sums agreed, it falls short on detail, notably regarding how EU member states will share the costs between themselves.
The EU appears to be taking care not to set a precedent for future international negotiations on climate financing with its fast-track funding pledges.
Ministers stress that the fast-track contributions are voluntary pledges and therefore not based on any distribution key. The voluntary nature of the funds was a concession to a bloc of Eastern European member states, who were concerned about putting an extra financial burden on their economies (EurActiv 30/10/09).
Moreover, the report neglects to detail how much money will flow to each of the priority areas.
It simply lists adaptation, mitigation and technology cooperation as key thematic areas. These include helping developing countries integrate climate change into national development plans, building low-carbon infrastructure by cooperating on renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects, supporting sustainable forest management, and building capacity to adapt technologies to local circumstances.
State of play
Evaluating the implementation of the fast-start funds so far, the report argues that the EU is on track to meeting its three-year pledge as 21 member states and the European Commission have integrated individual pledges into their budgets. It does not, however, provide a breakdown of any sums committed so far.
Funding will be allocated both to mitigation and adaptation, with emphasis placed on the latter, according to estimates from national capitals and the EU executive. The money will be disbursed mainly through bilateral channels, the report adds.
Earlier this year, the US outlined its €1.4bn international climate finance budget for 2011. It pledged to provide €334 million for adaptation activities, €710 million for clean energy investments and €347 million for combating deforestation.
While the sums are more modest than those of the EU, they give a clear indication of where the priorities lie on the other side of the Atlantic.
2.1. Hidden annex calculates the indirect carbon footprint of a range of biofuels
20 May 2010, T&E
The Commission has been forced to release an annex to a study on the impact of biofuels policy it had withheld. The hidden information suggests that biodiesel made from soy beans can emit four times more greenhouse gases than conventional diesel.
Five months ago, Brussels published a report it had commissioned from the Frauenhofer research institute in Germany into the environmental impact of different EU policies and measures, including the 2003 biofuels directive. But officials held back an annex to the report which calculated in kilograms of CO2 per gigajoule the indirect carbon footprint of various biofuels caused by indirect land-use change. This prompted the institute to partly disown the published report.
Following a request by the Reuters news agency under EU access laws, the annex has been released, and it shows biodiesel from North American soy beans with an indirect carbon footprint of 339.9kg, four times the level of 85kg for conventional petrol or diesel.
Other biofuels are better but still inferior to conventional fuels. Biodiesel from European rapeseed scores 150.3kg, while bioethanol from European sugar beet is 100.3kg. The best biofuels are bioethanol from Latin American sugar cane at 82.3kg and from palm oil from south-east Asia at 73.6kg, but there are other environmental concerns linked with palm oil.
T&E policy officer Nusa Urbancic said, ‘For the third time in six weeks the Commission has been forced to release studies about the climate effects of biofuels, and for the third time these studies show that land use is the most important factor in determining if biofuels make sense or not.’
The Commission says it withheld the annex to the report because the methodology used to work out the values for each biofuel is ‘controversial’. The Frauenhofer institute admits more work has to be done, but says its overall findings – that there are inefficient biofuels and care must be taken over a fuel’s origins – still stand.
The Commission has been given until the summer to respond to the legal action taken by T&E and three other NGOs in March. The action is to force the Commission to release more documentation on the indirect land-use effects of biofuels.
2.2. US top scientists urge coal, oil use penalties
20 May 2010, AP
Ditching its past cautious tone, the nation’s top scientists urged the government Wednesday to take drastic action to raise the cost of using coal and oil to slow global warming.
The National Academy of Sciences specifically called for a carbon tax on fossil fuels or a cap-and-trade system for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, calling global warming an urgent threat.
The academy, which advises the government on scientific matters, said the nation needs to cut the pollution that causes global warming by about 57 percent to 83 percent by 2050. That’s close to President Barack Obama’s goal.
"We really need to get started right away. It’s not opinion, it’s what the science tells you," said Robert Fri, who chaired one of the three panels producing separate climate reports.
Fri was acting Environmental Protection Agency chief under President Richard Nixon and until recently on the board of American Electric Power Co., a major producer of carbon dioxide. "The country needs both a prompt and a sustained commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions," he said Wednesday.
In the past, the academy has called climate change a problem, but it has never recommended a specific policy. The impetus for its bolder stance now was a set of questions posed by Congress on climate change and how to deal with it.
The cap-and-trade idea, which is supported by the Obama administration, has been proposed for several years in Congress but never passed the Senate. It would set overall limits on carbon dioxide pollution, but would allow companies to pollute more by paying for it and buying pollution credits from cleaner companies.
Last year, the House approved a cap-and-trade bill, but it stalled in the Senate as health care legislation took center stage. A new version, that doesn’t use the cap-and-trade phrase but has similar characteristics, was introduced last week. Lawmakers have pledged a floor vote on the bill this summer.
The national academy is an elite independent organization chartered to give the federal government advice on science and technical matters. Being elected as an academy member is considered a major honor for a scientist.
In a series of three reports, the academy tried to illustrate the challenge ahead by describing tons of polluting gases as money in a budget. America is on an escalating trajectory to blow its budget. The budget allows for the use of 170 to 200 billion tons between now and 2050. In 2008, America spewed 7 billion tons of greenhouse gas.
"If we continue at the same rate we’re going, we’re going to use that up quickly, which is the case for urgency," said panel member Ed Rubin, an engineering and public policy professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
Panel members said it’s unusual for the academy to be so blunt about what needs to be done. But Congress asked the academy in 2008 to answer four questions, starting with: "What short-term actions can be taken to respond effectively to climate change?" Panel members said that is what gave them freedom to say more about what needs to be done.
The three documents issued Wednesday come after a winter in which mainstream climate science took a beating because of leaked e-mails from a British university and errors revealed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report. And in December despite dozens of world leaders seeking a climate deal in Copenhagen, countries could not agree to renew and tighten mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.
All the criticism and inaction spurred the national academy to deliver a sharper message, said Pam Matson, dean of earth sciences at Stanford University, who chaired one of the three panels.
Change is occurring in warmer temperatures, melting ice caps, sea rise and many other areas that have been carefully studied, Matson said. Future changes will include water and food shortages in many areas, more heat waves and increased intense rainfall in some regions.
The reports agree with the international climate panel’s assessment that climate change is already occurring "and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems."
White House science adviser John Holdren praised the group’s work as "well-documented in their science … and compelling in their conclusions about policy." He said he hoped members of Congress would read the reports or at least their summaries.
Also on Wednesday, the journal Nature published a study suggesting the world’s oceans are absorbing more heat from global warming than previously thought. Scientists from the U.S. and Japan estimated the amount of energy swallowed by the oceans since 1993, a figure roughly equivalent to more than 2 billion Hiroshima-sized bombs.
"It’s just a huge amount of energy," said John Lyman, an oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research institute in Seattle.
Oceans absorb about 90 percent of the heat from global warming and scientists have struggled for years to quantify it. Co-author Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, said the amount calculated in the study translates to warming the top 2,300 feet of the world’s oceans by about three-tenths of a degree.
Outside experts praised the study, saying ocean heat content is going to be one of the key indicators of climate change.
2.3. Safe clean energy future unfolds on virtual Heliosthana
11 May 2010, WWF
A how-to guide for a safe clean energy future, based around the virtual Mediterranean nation Heliosthana was launched today by WWF and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs), at the Spanish EU Presidency conference on the Mediterranean Solar Plan in Valencia. Heliosthana, whose six basic steps are immediately applicable in many Mediterranean countries, is built upon realistic solutions that pave the way towards 100% renewable energy.
Fossil fuels are finite, there is an insecurity of energy supply and prices are unstable and destablilising. In addition climate change and nature loss is at our doors, so finding tangible and immediate solutions are critical. Heliosthana provides this by describing a decade-long harmonious transition towards a sustainable energy system that respects people and the planet, while sustaining a balanced economic and social development.
In 2020 Heliosthana combines low energy intensity (20% less than in 2010) with a promising share of renewable energy (20% of primary energy supply). Part of the renewable electricity is exported to neighbouring countries. Education, R&D and healthcare have benefited from the money saved due to reduced investments in fossil fuels.
The Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) has set a target of 20 Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2020 and the Desertec Industrial Initiative talks about a potential 400 bn EUR investment in renewables in Northern Africa. WWF supports sustainable energy development in the Mediterranean region, however in order to be effective, the MSP still needs to take bold steps to move towards a solar region.
The solution is highlighted in the case of Heliosthana, where MSP projects would firstly need to be part of national energy strategies of participant countries. Secondly MSP needs to take on a coordinating role to develop and help implement national solar plans, spur cooperation with local and regional universities, facilitate and reduce the cost of environmental and social research through regional co-operation. Finally smaller projects need to be bundled to make them bankable and interesting for large investors and banks.
Jean-Philippe Denruyter, Manager for Global Renewable Energy Policy at WWF International and Special Advisor to the Government of Heliosthana, said: “WWF believes that Heliosthana has become a role model for its Northern and Southern neighbours and an ideal partner for the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) to reach its objectives. It highlights that each country in the region should elaborate its own solar plan, boosting prosperity and increasing security”.
2.4. EU ‘southern gas corridor’ getting crowded
21 May 2010, EurActiv
A new gas pipeline project – the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) linking Greece to Italy – came to light yesterday (20 May), fuelling competition in a key section of the EU’s so-called ‘southern gas corridor’, where two more planned pipelines are bidding for the same markets.
Describing their planned pipeline as "the missing link" in the region, four major gas companies signed a consortium deal to build what they said was "the most promising project for moving gas to South Eastern Europe" from the Caucasus region.
German gas giant E.On Ruhrgas joined Norway’s Statoil and EGL of Switzerland, in what they described as a strategic move to realise the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline Project (TAP).
The TAP pipeline, 520km in length, will begin in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, crossing Albania before running across the bottom of the Adriatic Sea for 115km to Brindisi in Italy.
The pipeline’s planned capacity is 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) and it should become operational by 2016-2017, consortium spokespeople told EurActiv.
The project appears to be a direct competitor to both the ITGI (Interconnection Turkey-Greece-Italy) project, which is sponsored by Italian energy company Edison (EurActiv 27/04/10), and the Poseidon offshore pipeline, which is planned to run from Greece (south of Corfu) to Italy (south of Brindisi). Poseidon has a planned capacity of 9 bcm and is expected to be operational in 2015.
Both projects appear to compete with the upstream section of Nabucco, a better known and more ambitious pipeline project intended to diversify the EU’s pool of supplier countries.
Nabucco is expected to bring gas to Europe from the Caucasus and the Middle East to a gas hub in Austria, via Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. Its planned capacity is 31 bcm. The Nabucco consortium plans to start operations and marketing in 2014 with an initial capacity of eight bcm.
In the downstream Western section, ITGI and TAP appear to be competing with the Gazprom-led South Stream project (see ‘Background’), a partner of Italian giant ENI.
TAP consortium members told the Brussels press that they were open to new partners to "add value" to the project, although it was unclear whether they were prepared to join forces with their apparent competitors.
TAP representatives also said their project was established on commercial terms and that they were not seeking government or EU support.
Asked about Nabucco and South Stream, Jochen Weise of E.On Ruhrgas said the TAP consortium was "not going to comment on other projects".
"We are living in turbulent times. Transportation costs are important," he said.
Rune Bjornson of Statoil said that his company was a resource owner at Shah Deniz, the largest gasfield in Azerbaijan. He said he was "delighted" that the leaders of Turkey and Azerbaijan were expected to sign a gas deal on 7-8 June that is expected to unlock Azeri gas reserves for the West (EurActiv 17/05/10).
Asked by EurActiv to comment on his company’s new competitor, a representative of Edison expressed doubt that TAP would respect its planned time-scale.
"ITGI has almost completed the environmental permits procedures both in Greece and Italy after having filed requests for authorisation back in 2006 and 2007. Such activities are critical for reliable project time schedules. TAP has not yet even filed such requests to the competent authorities," he said.
He said his competitors also lacked a specific inter-governmental agreement between Italy, Greece and Albania – which under Italian law is a requirement to expedite the TPA exemption procedure – while ITGI had all the necessary memoranda signed and TPA exemption granted.
3.1. Brussels to play down ‘carbon leakage’ threat
20 May 2010, EurActiv
A draft European Commission proposal, seen by EurActiv, plays down the risk of industries relocating outside Europe if the 27-member bloc were to step up its climate policies.
The expected impact of raising the EU’s CO2 reduction effort on carbon-intensive industries will be evaluated in a Commission paper, scheduled to be presented on 26 May.
The report is expected to make the case for raising the EU’s CO2 reduction target for 2020 from 20% to 30%, arguing that the threat of industries moving abroad is limited (EurActiv 03/05/10).
The move comes as Europe tries to regain the upper hand in international climate talks, which collapsed last year at a UN summit in Copenhagen.
The latest draft, seen by EurActiv, says that as a result of the recession, "the potential of carbon leakage with a 20% target in current circumstances is much lower" than assumed in 2008 when the EU’s climate and energy policies were approved.
"We should not hide that the recession has significantly weakened the price signal [for carbon dioxide]," said Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate action commissioner, announcing an 11.6% drop in emissions for 2009 earlier this week.
The Commission adds that raising the target unilaterally to 30% would have a "limited" additional impact on the EU’s energy-intensive industries if preventive measures already foreseen were put in place.
It believes raising the EU’s target to 30% would encour
The Commission estimates that the additional production losses linked to moving to 30% compared to the 20% legislation would be relatively minor – in the range of 1% – for ferrous and non-ferrous metals, chemical products and other energy-intensive sectors.
The draft document argues that the "most obvious" way to avoid a competitive disadvantage for European companies is to maintain the level of free allowances currently foreseen for certain industrial sectors. It sees this as the most viable option to counter calls for carbon tariffs to be introduced at the EU’s borders, arguing that tariffs raise major trade policy issues.
France has been actively campaigning for such border adjustment measures. Paris says they are only intended to restore fair competition conditions with countries such as China, arguing that the money raised could even be spent on supporting low-carbon technologies in the developing world (EurActiv 18/05/10).
Greens study says carbon leakage ‘overstated’
In the meantime, a study launched today (20 May) by the Greens in the European Parliament argues that the threat of Europe’s energy intensive industries fleeing ambitious climate policies has been "seriously overstated".
The study, compiled by Climate Strategies, a research organisation, argues that only 13 of the 164 sectors identified by the European Commission as vulnerable to "carbon leakage" are likely to relocate abroad.
The usual suspects include steel, cement, aluminium, paper and pulp, some chemical sub-sectors and refineries.
The criteria used by the EU executive to identify vulnerable sectors was based on trade intensity and the share of carbon costs in the sector’s gross value added. The data was supplemented with qualitative assessments but the hard data was not up to the standards, the study argues.
The paper criticises the approach as faulty because the rules have been rushed through and based on simplified policy scenarios. Moreover, the calculations were based on low thresholds that were not supported by evidence, it added.
The study argues that a more detailed qualitative analysis of a small set of sectors with high-cost impacts would have produced more telling results.
Applying such a method, the researchers found that policy responses should differ sector-by-sector and that prescribing free allowances to each trade-intensive sector, as the Commission has chosen to do, was not the right answer.
In fact, the complex procedures for setting benchmarks for free allocation to the 164 sectors will only give rise to industry demands for further measures to address competitiveness, such as border adjustment, the study argues. Moreover, it has been well-documented that free allocation dampens price signals and creates windfall profits for companies, the study adds.
"It is high time that the smokescreen of ‘carbon leakage’ is more rigorously assessed by EU policymakers," said Green MEP Yannick Jadot (France). "The spectre of carbon leakage cannot be allowed to have such a determining effect on EU climate policy and legislation given the lack of evidence for leakage beyond a handful of sectors."
3.2. UK ‘will push EU on CO2 targets’
20 May 2010, BBC
The UK government will push the EU to move to a higher target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It will urge the EU to cut emissions by 30% from 1990 levels by 2020, rather than the current 20% target, partly through more support for renewables.
A higher proportion of tax revenues will come from environmental taxes.
The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition also confirmed there would be a free vote on fox-hunting and that badger culling was back on the agenda for England.
The pledges are contained in the Programme for Government, unveiled on Thursday.
This fleshes out the much shorter agreement released by party leaders David Cameron and Nick Clegg immediately after the confirmation of their coalition.
In 2009, EU leaders endorsed two targets for greenhouse gas emissions – 20%, rising to 30% in the event of a global deal on climate change.
That failed to materialise at December’s Copenhagen summit.
But the recession has lowered emissions across the continent, making the higher target more easily achievable.
Environment groups have been lobbying governments to move to 30% immediately, to re-stake the EU’s claim for global leadership on climate change – a call that the coalition has now endorsed.
"It’s good news," said Bryony Worthington, founder and director of the campaign group Sandbag, who developed the policy of carbon budgets adopted by the Labour government.
"We needed the UK to be strong on this, and there was some doubt about whether the government would push for 30%, which is badly needed.
"If we stay at 20%. there doesn’t appear to be any extra effort needed, and that doesn’t sit well for the EU," she told BBC News.
The UK would seek to meet its share of the 30% target partly through the scaling up of renewable energy.
This would come partly through the introduction of feed-in tariffs, encouraging early adoption of technologies that at present cost more than fossil-fuel generation.
The government would also seek to set a "floor price" for carbon, and permit no new runways at Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick airports; and there is confirmation on the establishment of a bank to stimulate "green" investment.
"it’s critical that the green investment bank is appropriately capitalised so that it can make a positive and lasting difference to our country," commented Ben Caldecott, head of UK and EU policy at specialist investment managers Climate Change Capital.
"The commitment to introduce a carbon price floor should reduce uncertainty for investors, but the level must be set at a price that will incentivise new investment."
Some reports had suggested that the coalition would not be able to implement its pledge of a free vote on fox hunting; but this is pledged anew.
On bovine tuberculosis (TB), the coalition will "introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis".
A swift initiation of culling in England had been floated during the election campaign by Jim Paice, who now holds the agriculture portfolio within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
At a briefing with reporters on Thursday, his boss, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, confirmed culling was on the agenda.
She noted that the bovine TB situation had changed since 2003 when the UK "Krebs trial", the largest study of badger-culling anywhere in the world, showed that culling in small areas in response to disease outbreaks increased the rate of cattle infection.
"TB had not then spread as far into the badger population as it has now, which makes things more difficult," she said.
Referring to the pilot study recently approved by the Welsh Assembly, she said: "I think we’ll all learn from how they embark on it."
Jack Reedy, an advisor to the Badger Trust, called for more clarity on the governments’ intentions and the science which it was using.
"The [Krebs] trial explicitly showed that culling in specific areas made the situation worse – that’s why they stopped the ‘reactive culling’ arm of the trial early, because it was having the reverse effect," he told BBC News.
The government has given no details of the move it indicates towards adopting environmental taxes, which was a Conservative manifesto commitment.
3.1. Transport still going the wrong way
20 May 2010, T&E
A report for the German government says a range of measures, headed by traffic avoidance, needs to be adopted if transport is to make a meaningful contribution to fighting climate change. The report comes as the latest TERM report on the environmental performance of Europe’s transport shows polluting modes are still rising.
Germany ’s Federal Environment Office (UBA) commissioned a study from several academics into how carbon dioxide from the transport sector could be reduced. Although the findings are based on national data from Germany, they are broadly applicable in other countries.
The eight authors say five complementary methods have to be adopted at the same time: traffic avoidance (effectively reducing transport demand and shortening distances), modal shift, optimising transport, economic instruments, and vehicle emissions reduction.
They set out the potential for all available measures, and conclude that if 50-80% of the potential was realised, CO2 from transport in Germany could be reduced by up to 87 million tonnes a year by 2020 and up to 103 mt/y by 2030. And they warn that no significant reduction in traffic-related CO2 emissions can be expected if current transport trends continue.
The report’s basic premise – that the benefits of cleaner technologies are being offset by increasing journey distances – has been confirmed in the latest TERM report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The Transport Environmental Reporting Mechanism is now 10 years old, and its latest report suggests trends are still worrying.
Road and air freight both grew faster than the economy between 1997 and 2007, while the market share of rail and inland waterways declined over the same period. On passenger transport, airlines increased their numbers by 48%, while passenger demand for rail remained steady in western Europe and declined in eastern Europe.
‘Transport is still heading in a totally unsustainable direction,’ said T&E director, Jos Dings, ‘but governments no longer have the cash to invest in expensive infrastructure. The best way out of these twin crises is to adopt pricing schemes that ring in money and improve efficiency, and at the same time cut all subsidies to high-polluting modes such as aviation.’
Eleven EU members say they will exceed their limits for nitrogen oxides this year, with seven of them (Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Spain) expected to exceed their 2010 NOx ceiling by more than 10%. The limits are set in the National Emission Ceilings directive, and the latest estimates are published by the EEA.
3.2. Tighter standards needed to green the car sector
20 May 2010, Greenpeace
As industry ministers prepare to adopt a European strategy on clean and energy-efficient vehicles next week, Greenpeace calls on them to strengthen the single most effective EU instrument to achieve this objective – the EU’s fuel efficiency standard for passenger cars.
This standard was adopted in 2009, setting a target of 130g CO2 per km by 2015 and 95g CO2/km by 2020. Recent developments, however, suggest that much faster improvements are possible.
To sustain this momentum, the EU should consider a tighter target of 80g CO2/km by 2020 for cars sold in the EU and 50g CO2/km by 2030 as part of an effective strategy to promote cleaner cars. A new report commissioned by Greenpeace shows such a measure is achievable.
Greenpeace EU transport policy advisor Franziska Achterberg said: “EU industry ministers are right to see clean vehicle technology as a way of maintaining the competitiveness of the European car sector. They should recognise that the single most important EU measure to achieve this is ambitious legislation. Stronger fuel efficiency standards will help the sector reduce its carbon footprint while maintaining a level playing field.”
The study conducted by the UK’s Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) sets out four different pathways to achieve the 80g target. These include an increase in hybrid and electric cars, and a shift to lower-powered and smaller cars.
The study is in line with a call by German environment minister Norbert Röttgen for EU targets to be set within a range of 10-35g CO2/km by 2040.
Emission cuts in the transport sector are sorely needed – it has the fastest growing CO2 emissions in the EU.
More at: http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/press-centre/press-releases2/lowering-the-bar-for-cars-20-05-10
3.3. Hedegaard rejects airlines’ call to postpone ETS
20 May 2010, T&E
The Commission has dismissed suggestions by the aviation industry that the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland that disrupted flights over north-western Europe last month should alter the terms under which aviation enters the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012.
With the number of permits allocated free to airlines to be based on flights performed this year, the airlines most affected could find they have a slightly lower number of freely allocated permits to fly in 2012 than anticipated. This has led some industry representatives to call for adjustments in ETS calculations to take account of the reduced numbers of flights last month.
But the EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard rejected this suggestion, saying the aviation industry ‘has always argued against this piece of European legislation, and now they are just trying to find a new argument.’ She said she recognised it was ‘a difficult situation for the airlines’ but said that was ‘not an appropriate excuse’ for justifying adjustments to permit levels.
The period of flight disruption, which led to skies being closed for six days in some areas, could help scientists better understand the climate effects of jet fuel burned at high altitudes. Scientists have found it difficult to compare plane-free skies with skies accommodating many flights, so last month’s disruption could help researchers. Similar benefits resulted in 2001 after US airspace was closed following the 11 September bombings.
4.1. Does EU ETS create windfall profits for energy intensive industry?
More at: http://www.climnet.org/resources/external-documents/doc_download/1691-ce-delft-report-industry-makes-windfall-profits-from-carbon-market.html
4.2. Bonn Climate Change Talks – June 2010
Meetings of the Convention Bodies – 31 May to 11 June
Thirty second sessions of the UNFCCC Convention subsidiary bodies
Monday 31 May to Wednesday 9 June 2010
Twelfth session of the AWG-KP and tenth session of the AWG-LCA
Tuesday 1 June to Friday 11 June 2010
Venue: Hotel Maritim, Bonn, Germany
More at: http://unfccc.int/meetings/sb32/items/5573.php
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